Digital skills are key to digital transformation and a significant enabler of each country's digitization. Instilling the necessary skills has become a key part of national digital transformation strategies.
Strengthening digital skills will narrow the global digital divide. Among the main reasons why people are not using the Internet in developing countries is the lack of capacities and skills, either to use technologies or to benefit from the information and services available online. Enhancing citizens' digital capacities serves to boost Internet use.
Job seekers with digital skills generally have greater success in finding employment. In Europe, for example, nine out of ten future jobs will require digital skills. In sub-Saharan Africa, over 200 million jobs will require digital skills by 2030, creating the need for almost 600 million training opportunities, according to a 2019 study by the International Finance Corporation (IFC).
According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), ICT-related industries saw the strongest growth in employment during the pandemic. Demand for digitally skilled workers will continue to grow as the digitization accelerates across all industry sectors. While automation and economic disruptions could end many current jobs, new jobs will emerge in the field of digital technologies. In addition, many other jobs will require digital skills, ranging from basic to advanced.
As digitization spreads, so does the need in each country or region for digital infrastructure and skills. The new tools, solutions, platforms, and services that have mushroomed since early 2020 will remain part of the new normal after the pandemic. The areas, sectors, and occupations where digitization stimulates job creation will inevitably require increasingly advanced digital skills, knowledge, and capabilities. In the meantime, the transition is creating huge investment opportunities in training and skilling. The education, training and learning sectors must expand to cater to these needs.